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Suejung Shin, a Consultant in Trinity’s Oakland, CA office, recently spent two and a half weeks volunteering with Engineers Without Borders, San Francisco Professionals Chapter (EWB-SFP)’s Fiji Project. With a team of about 15 environmental professionals from firms across the San Francisco Bay Area, the EWB-SFP Fiji Project serves the villages of Buca, Loa, and Vunikura in the Buca Bay region of the Fiji Islands, with the end goal of providing a safe and reliable source of drinking water to the three villages. Since 2008, various water supply and water quality projects have been undertaken such as replacement of the in-village distribution system, upsizing pipe, and construction of biosand filters. This year, five travelers completed the construction scope and key assessments for future work including connecting five new houses (previously without access to water) to the current water distribution system; repairing thirteen community water taps; constructing four new biosand filters to provide safe drinking water; and completing various site assessments of water sources and possible locations for new pipelines to be built in future implementation trips.

According to Suejung, “I was happy to contribute to such a hands-on project and to be able to interact with the Fijians, whose hard work and joyful attitudes made the construction project easy.” Suejung joined Trinity in 2012 after completing a Master of Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Bachelor of Science at Stanford University in Environmental Engineering. At Trinity, Suejung assists clients with air permitting and compliance along with the rest of the Oakland team. She welcomes questions about air issues or Fiji at


Villagers from Buca at a construction site in August 2013


Children of the village Vunikura by a biosand filter constructed in partnership with EWB volunteers.


EWB volunteers Suejung Shin (center) and Joy Wei (left) with some of the villagers of Buca